BAL: US Monastir off the mark, Rivers Hoopers fall

Marcus Crawford scored a game-high 31 points as US Monastir defeated APR 83-70. PHOTO/CHEIKH HAIDARA

What you need to know:

Dario Hunt led the Rwandan outfit with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Obadiah Noel added 15 points.

The latest action in the Basketball Africa League Sahara Conference was a tale of firsts.

First, US Monastir managed to win a basketball game in the conference, beating Rwandan side APR 83-70 to start the second half of the tournament on a high.

The Tunisian side started the season with a dismal 0-3 run and simply cannot afford to drop any more games if they are to be in the conversation for the playoffs.

Led by Marcus Crawford, who shot six-for-nine from three-point range to record a game-high 31 points, the 2022 champions meant business and executed better down the stretch to get the win.

Oussama Marnaoui hit two threes in the early stages of the fourth quarter to give Monastir momentum.

He would go on to record 16 points in the end while Firas Layhani added 12 as Monastir improved to a 1-3 record.

APR, who defeated hosts AS Douanes on Tuesday, are now on a 2-2 run but remain second on the log and well within the qualification conversation. 

Dario Hunt led the Rwandan outfit with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Obadiah Noel added 15 points.

Axel Mpoyo contributed 11 points and six rebounds. 

Monastir will now hope to win their last two games of the conference and give themselves a chance.

Meanwhile table leaders Rivers Hoopers fell for the first time following a hotly-contested affair with last season’s losing finalists AS Douanes. 

Mike Fofana beat the buzzer to win it for the hosts and send the partisan crowd inside the Dakar Arena into wild celebrations. 

Douanes found themselves in a spot of bother after they were on the wrong side of two technical fouls, one to Adama Diakhite and the other to the bench. 

Will Perry stepped up on both occasions to nail the free throws and tie the game at 54-54 with three seconds left on the clock. 

But 2023 BAL Coach of the Year Mamadou Gueye had time to draw a play that was executed will to win the game 56-54 and see Douanes improve to 2-2 in the conference. 

Madut Akec led the home side with 17 points and eight rebounds while Harouna Abdoulaye added 15 points. Diakhite registered 12 points on the night. 

The sides will return to action on Saturday, with Rivers Hoopers facing APR while AS Douanes at on US Monastir. 

Basketball Africa League 


Sahara Conference 

APR 70-83 US Monastir 

Rivers Hoopers 54-56 AS Douanes